Thiago de Mello


January 19, 2022

Thiago de Mello is the literary name of the Brazilian writer, translator and active rainforest protector Amadeu Thiago de Mello ( born March 30, 1926 in Barreirinha, Amazonas State, † January 14, 2022 in Manaus ). He was one of the country's most respected writers and an icon of regional Amazonian literature. His work has been translated into numerous languages.


After completing his primary education at Grupo Escolar Barão do Rio Branco and high school at Gyminásio Pedro II in Manaus, Thiago de Mello moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine (Faculdade Nacional de Medicina), the however, he left after four years to pursue the path of an independent poet. In the glamorous Brazilian capital of the 1950s, this was not only a political decision for him, but also one of the necessity of literary engagement. His first book, Silêncio e Palavra, was published in 1951 and immediately received critical acclaim. During the military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985 he first exiled to Chile, where he found a friend and political sympathizer in Pablo Neruda and had to witness the violent overthrow of President Salvador Allende and the military coup that followed. In 1964 his probably best-known poem Os Estatutos do Homen (German: "The Statutes of Man") was created, which represented a protest against the military regime in the proclamation of simple human rights and was allegedly immediately banned by it. His further exile took him to Argentina, Portugal, France and Germany. After the end of the Brazilian military dictatorship, he moved back to his native city of Barreirinha, where he lived in a house designed by the architect Lúcio Costa and worked for the integrity of the Amazon and for human rights. In the years of his literary work, the poet Thiago de Mello received national and international prizes and awards.


In addition to his own work, he could look back on a long career as a translator of Latin American poetry by Pablo Neruda, César Vallejo, Ernesto Cardenal, Eliseo Diego, Nicolás Guillén, but also by T. S. Eliot into Portuguese. Apart from Brazil, his own works have appeared in Chile, Cuba, Argentina, Portugal, the USA, France, Great Britain and Germany. His poem Die Statuten des Menschen in particular also appeared in various collections and anthologies, for example on the social and political situation in Brazil, for example here in Almanac 10 for literature and theology (Wuppertal 1976), and various translations of it are circulating on the Internet. Pablo Neruda said about him: "Thiago de Mello is a soul transformer", he dedicated the poem Thiago y Santiago to him.


1960: Academia Brasileira de Letras Poetry Prize 1962: Book of the Year award from the Brazilian Writers' Union União Brasileira de Escritores 1997: Awarded by the Rio de Janeiro Book Biennial (Bienal do Livro do Rio de Janeiro) 1997: Prêmio Jabuti for De uma vez por todas In addition, Thiago de Mello was made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres de France in the 1980s.


1951: Silêncio e palavra 1952: Narciso cego (German: Blind Narcissus, 1962) 1956: A lenda da rosa 1960: Ventogeral 1965: Faz escuro mas eu canto (German: Dark but singing, 1965) 1966: A canção do amor armado (English: Song of Armed Love, 1976) 1977: Os Estatutos do Homem (German: The Statutes of Man, 1964) 1981: Mormaço na floresta 1982: Horóscopo para os que estão vivos (English: Horoscope for all who are alive, 1984) 1986: Num campo de margaridas 1991: Amazonas, pátria da àgua with photographs by Luiz Cláudio Marigo (German

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